Women’s contribution: Over 2,000 Saudi volunteers serve Hajj pilgrims

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 30 August 2017| 08 Zhul Hijjah 1438

This year, the number of female volunteers for Hajj reached more than 2,000, according to the founder and chairperson of volunteers’ committee of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) in the Makkah region and family medicine consultant, Asmaa Al-Rifai.

“The number of volunteers reached 2,500, which forms a huge motivation for the female volunteers,” Al-Rifai told Arab News.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah volunteer program this year aims to serve the pilgrims under the slogan “Kon Awnan,” meaning “be helpful.”

The program tries to attract volunteers who wish to serve pilgrims, invest their energies, efforts, skills and specialties during the Hajj season through the initiative.

Al-Rifai pointed out that the program is proud of the Saudi youths who are willing to share their skills and experiences to serve pilgrims on a volunteer basis. Volunteers’ ages range from 20 to 40 years.

This is the first integrated medical, voluntary and therapeutic women’s team in the Arab world. The volunteers must attend specialized training sessions prepared by the authority after they qualify for participation by passing tests related to the medical field. Volunteers are preferred to come from medical and health majors and priority goes to students. Other participants should be qualified in the medical ambulatory field, international humanitarian and relief work, or disaster and crisis management.

The SRCA women’s volunteer team is divided into two sub-teams: One is the “Rufaida,” team for the Umrah season during Ramadan, and the other is the “Zubaida” team, which is deployed during the Hajj season.

The SRCA requires the volunteers to be either Saudi or daughters of a citizen, Al-Rifai added.
Abrar Al-Aidarous, president of the “Zubaida” team, told Arab News that “volunteers are required to attend a training workshop for cardiopulmonary resuscitation as we see a great number of cardiac cases annually in Hajj.”

The volunteers are distributed around the Grand Mosque where they start receiving cases few days before Hajj begins. The medicines provided for patients at the Grand Mosque are monitored and supervised by doctors on the scene, and groups are stationed to assist emergency cases. Volunteers have mobile medical equipment to assist serious cases that need an immediate transfer to the hospital.

Source – Arab news